Tageos Releases Industrial-Focused High-Memory Tags

By Claire Swedberg

With increased memory and sensitivity, the company's latest tags are intended to offer a low-cost solution to the aviation, logistics and manufacturing markets, in which the need for RFID sometimes outpaces supply.

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RFID label company  Tageos has released two new products aimed at the aeronautics, automotive and logistics industries, which it says provide more memory than standard EPC RFID tags, as well as greater sensitivity and a longer read range than other high-memory tags. Both the EOS-400 U7xm and EOS-500 U7xm leverage  NXP Semiconductors‘ UCODE 7xm chip to enable users to store data, such as a product’s manufacturing and maintenance records, then read that information at a distance of up to 12 meters (39 feet).

Both passive UHF RFID products come with an extended user memory of 2 kilobits for storing an Electronic Product Code (EPC) number, along with additional data. The EOS-400 U7xm is intended for asset tracking and supply chain applications, the company reports, with a compact antenna sized at 70 millimeters by 10 millimeters (2.8 inches by 0.4 inch). The larger EOS-500 U7xm, which measures 94 millimeters by 24 millimeters (3.7 inches by 1 inch) offers greater sensitivity for when a longer read range is needed, and it can be applied to such materials as glass and non-stick surfaces.

Tageos’s EOS-500 (left) and EOS-400 tags

With aluminum antennas, clear plastic or paper substrates, and acrylic adhesives, both tags are available in high volumes as dry, wet or paper-faced inlays, according to Jeremy Wade, Tageos’s director of business development for the Americas. In industrial markets, he explains, this product release means new high-memory UHF tags for RFID technology-hungry users, for whom the wait for some products can be long

The RFID label company, based in France, has traditionally designed and manufactured paper-based, low-priced item-level RFID labels used in retail for inventory and supply chain management. Since 2020, however, the firm has been expanding to other materials and markets in which RFID use growth is under way. As part of that effort, the two new products are the first in a family of RFID tags intended for use cases beyond stores and supply chains, such as manufacturing, logistics and healthcare.

“Our portfolio was previously mostly retail-driven,” says Chris Reese, Tageos’s head of product management. “With the release of these two products, we’re starting a family with an industrial focus.” Two more such tags will be released during the second quarter of this year, he notes. In the meantime, Wade says, the availability of high-memory RFID tags has decreased. Many high-memory tags currently available offer greater memory at a higher cost, he explains, adding that although existing passive tags can store as much as 8 kilobytes of data, many of those options offer lower performance.

The company hopes its new tags will offer an alternative to existing 8-kilobyte tags used in aerospace and manufacturing applications. With just 2 kilobits of memory, the new tags can accomplish a longer read range, Wade says—approximately 20 to 40 percent more than that of standard EPC tags—and can be purchased at a lower cost. Aviation companies are now testing the tags to store and transmit data regarding items used in manufacturing and maintenance.

The need for high-memory tags in aviation has increased since the release of the ATA Spec 2000 requirements in the airline industry, which dictate an industry-wide approach for aircraft system numbering, as well as formatting and data content standards for documentation output. While current solutions have been used in aerospace, Reese says, “The sensitivity is so low that there are a high number of complaints.” That means those in aviation, for example, must bring a handheld reader within close range of a tag in order to interrogate it and receive a response. That action, users have told Tageos, can be as time-consuming and labor-intensive as scanning a barcode.

Since the new tags’ read distance is longer, Reese reports, they can perform similarly to a standard EPC tag, while storing considerably more information. There are a variety of use cases for which the tags could be employed, the company indicates. For instance, they could be applied to emergency equipment on airplanes to enable regular, or even daily, inventory counts and inspections in the fuselage. Tags could be applied to life vests or oxygen containers, for example, and users could simply walk down the aisle and capture tag ID numbers throughout the fuselage without traveling the aisle’s entire length. With current systems, Reese says, compartments must be opened or seat cushions lifted in order for all tags to be interrogated.

The tags are presently being tested by European automotive companies to track data about parts built into new vehicles, including each component’s history. For logistics, the tags are being applied to reusable containers and other items. Of the two new products, the EOS-500 has a greater read range due to its larger size. Tageos says the larger tag offers robust performance on materials like glass, as well as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and other nonstick surfaces. Both tags contain up to 448 bits of EPC memory and an additional 2,048 bits of user memory, and they can operate at a temperature range of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees to +185 degrees Fahrenheit). The theoretical read range for the EOS-400 is 6 to 12 meters (19.7 to 39 feet), while the EOS-500 has a read range of 8 to 12 meters (26 to 39 feet).

The impact of these tags on the markets that use them, Wade predicts, will be better availability of high-memory inlays. “The industry, as a whole, is already experiencing shortages of certain products,” he states, “whether based on a lack of capacity or increased demand.” With the addition of two new products on the market, he notes, “This will allow more choices in inlays, and having that product availability is going to be a great benefit to the non-retail market.”

According to Reese, “[For companies] relying on pristine RF data, the quality has to be there,” and Tageos has designed the products to provide that quality. Tag cost is considerably less than that of many existing high-memory tags offering kilobytes of memory, he says, and the company is currently offering the products in samples and at high volumes.